The Telluride Jazz Festival and its programs represent Music Education of the highest order! World class jazz musicians bring their talent, skills and knowledge to our community to share on the Town Park Main Stage, the Free Stage at Elks Park, Jazz at Night Venues, the Wilkinson Public Library and the Telluride School District and regional schools. Jazz, as America’s unique art form, is at the heart of our programming and we are always looking for new ways to reach and grow our audience whether for ticketed or free performances. While the Western Slope of Colorado’s likely music audience might be considered to be Country or Bluegrass, theTelluride Society for Jazz (TSJ) has made a name for Jazz as we celebrate our 37th Anniversary this year continuing our mission to both entertain and educate all who participate.
Telluride Jazz thanks our Contributors and Sponsors as well as the Raynier Institute and Foundation; No Wasted Notes; the Telluride Foundation; the Telluride Council for Community Assistance, Arts and Special Events (CCAASE); Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association; Colorado Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Just for Kids Foundation for their continued support of the following programs:
Telluride Student All-Stars
TSJ’s signature Educational Scholarship Program is the Telluride Student All-Star Jazz Ensemble. Serious Jazz students from age 13 through 18 are invited to send audition recordings of their musical skills to our educators, Prof. Bob Montgomery and Josh Quinlan. Jazz instructors accept elite musicians to travel to Telluride the week preceding the festival and they work and study together. The All-Stars perform around town the week leading up to the main event and they are rewarded with an opening performance on the Town Park Main Stage where TSJ has hosted such Jazz greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Chick Corea, Betty Carter, Art Blakey, Herbie Hancock, James Moody, Herbie Mann, Stanley Turrentine, Diana Krall, Ron Carter, the Neville Brothers, Dr. John, Larry Coryell, Pat Metheny, Dave Liebman, Esperanza Spalding, Roy Hargrove, Terence Blanchard, Dave Holland, Kurt Elling, Charlie Hunter, Spyro Gyra, Les McCann, and the list goes on and on! In recent years, many former Telluride All-stars have ascended to become feature acts on the Town Park Main Stage with the most recent being Alex Brown. The All Star Scholarship Program is supported by individual contributions, grants, and the sponsorship of Dworbell, Inc.
Artists in the Schools
TSJ’s Artists in the Schools programs offer informal music education to area youth. Visiting musicians in town for the WinterJazz programs give their time, talent, and energy to this program by performing and interacting with area students. Jazz contacts schools throughout the region and invites all interested students to join in the performance at the Michael D. Palm Theater. It is followed by an open question and answer session where students get to ask the performers the details of their craft. Jazz collaborates closely with the Telluride School District and the new Music Director Tuck Gillette who generously support this program. TSJ also receives grant funding from the Just for Kids Foundation who supports our youth programs.
Artists in the Library
Artists in the Library takes place on the patio at the Wilkinson Library and is now in its 13th year. These two programs focus on young people, library patrons, and the general public offering free music as part of the Jazz Celebration. One of these programs reaches out to the Hispanic community with Latino artists and the other is an interactive, educational performance in which families are invited to join in with the music. Last summer Jazz took the Friday performance to the local Farmers Market where the Wilkinson Library hosts the summer kids program for some lively banda music with “Anexo al Norte” from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Telluride Jazz works closely with the Five-Star Wilkinson Public Library to produce these programs. Library Director Barb Brattin, Scott Doser, Elizabeth Tracy, Sierra Reese, and the entire library staff work with Jazz staff to make the programs fun and educational. The Just for Kids Foundation supports these programs locally.
Free Jazz Project
The Free Jazz Project, now in its 7th year, produces five music programs and an annual soccer tournament in conjunction with the Telluride Jazz Celebration. At its heart is sharing the music with the entire community, with a special invitation to our growing Latino and foreign guest community. There are free programs at the Raynier Free Stage in Elks Park, the Wilkinson Public Library, and St. Patrick’s Catholic Church Spanish services as well as a Soccer Tournament in the Hanley Pavilion in Town Park. There is a lively Fiesta in Elks Park on the Sunday of the Jazz Festival with music, a piñata for the kids, dancing, food and fun. These programs began with support from the Colorado Council on the Arts through the National Endowment for the Arts and matching funds were provided locally. Telluride Jazz collaborates with One Telluride to make the Fiesta in Elks Park and the Soccer Tournament successes and to continue this worthwhile community outreach.
Raynier Free Stage
The Raynier Free Stage in Elks Park offers an alternative to those who want to participate in the Jazz Celebration without stretching their pocketbook. Last year there were 16 free performances on the Raynier Free Stage as well as Sunday’s Elks Park Panel Discussion and Free Jazz Project Fiesta. The panel discussion invites Jazz artists and media to tackle issues that are current in the jazz music world and answer questions from the audience. Last year’s discussion was hosted by Yvonne Ervin from Western Jazz Presenters and the panel consisted of Guest of Honor Paquito D’Rivera, Badi Assad and John Clayton.
Regional and National Student Performances
High School and College Bands and Ensembles are invited to participate in the Jazz Celebration. This program offers students travel subsidies, food, lodging and general and backstage admission to the Town Park so they may have the opportunity to interact with jazz legends and experience the production side of the event. In 2012, over 100 students traveled to Telluride with the UNC Jazz Studies program, The Caleb Chapman Institute and the Telluride Student All-Stars.